Women mainly fall in to one of four "gift giver" profiles: emotional, practical, convenience or last minute, according to a survey of American women conducted by internet auction site eBay.
The results of the nationwide survey were unveiled on eBay's blog (eBayinkblog.com) on December 7. The data showed that the majority of American women identified with one of the four major types of gift-giver outlined below.
The emotional gifter - Emotional gifters plan ahead and buy unique and thoughtful gifts for each person, showing a deep understanding of each gift recipient's likes and dislikes. 42 percent of American women identified the most with this profile.
The practical gifter - Gifters of this kind prefer to allow the recipient of the gift to choose what he or she wants to buy; therefore, practical gifters are most likely to give gift tokens or cash. 21 percent of women identified with this profile.
The convenience gifter - These gifters are the most efficient, feeling that holiday shopping is "something that needs to get done" rather than a pleasurable experience. Convenience gifters will often do all their shopping at one store or one website. 16 percent of women identified with this profile.
The last minute gifter - As the name suggests last minute gifters buy presents close to the holiday, don't plan ahead and hurry through the shopping. 13 percent of women identified with this profile.
The survey also uncovered some other interesting statistics: 60 percent of women said that shopping creates more joy than stress, 77 percent said they would rather give unique gifts than "must have items" and 71 percent thought that it was important to give the gift a personal touch by adding a handwritten card.
Different reactions to shopping are not limited to the fairer sex: according to The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption (Psychology Press, 2007), some men may experience a testosterone surge when shopping, similar to what men might have experienced when engaged in primitive hunter-gatherer activities.
EBay's "The psychology of gifting" survey was conducted by Kelton Research between November 10 and 17 using a sample representative of the female population of the United States.